How Does Food Shape History? Images of Food in the Historical Review of Ps 78

Susanne Gillmayr-Bucher


Reconstructing Israel’s history several psalms include the remembrance of food as a key element. With numerous references to the Pentateuch these psalms pick up well known food-based stories and engage these traditions in their discourses on history. In these retrospects food is more than just a prerequisite of life. Because it is prepared and consumed every day, it is an essential element of social behaviour. Food and its consumption thus reflect social conditions, and it can be used as a statement of identity. Based on its importance, food also plays an essential role in the construction of a human-divine relationship. Looking back in history, the availability or lack of food are presented as a part of God’s well-planned actions; similarly, the people’s handling of food and their behaviour at meals is considered as a display of their attitude towards God. In this article, I will show on the example of Ps 78 how a critical retrospective view presents food related episodes.


Psalm 78, History, Food




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ISSN: 2412-2467. Medieninhaber: ArgeAss, Dr. Veronika Burz-Tropper, Dr. Agnethe Siquans, Institut für Bibelwissenschaft, Universität Wien, Schenkenstraße 8-10, 1010 Wien, Tel. +43 4277 30406, Dr. Werner Urbanz, Private Pädagogische Hochschule der Diözese Linz, Salesianumweg 3, 4020 Linz